Cool Climate Shiraz

Cool Climate Shiraz

Shiraz is far and away Australia’s most widely planted grape variety and is well known for producing rich, bold, powerhouse styles which several regions have built a reputation on. However, recently there has been a growing demand for a lighter, fresher style of Shiraz from down under. As consumers begin to favour food friendly wines that show a greater level elegance, we look to Australia’s cooler regions to cater to this demand.

Shiraz can show itself to have many personalities depending on the conditions in which it is grown. In the warm, dry Barossa Valley, the region that is probably the most famous for Shiraz, the style is rich, dense and powerful. But just next door in the Eden Valley, the Shiraz shows a more refined character. The altitude is higher in the Eden Valley, therefore cooler, producing wines that are not light by any means, but have great structure and complexity, capable of ageing gracefully for decades. The cooling coastal influences of Margaret River produces Shiraz that is deeply coloured but perfumed and lifted, with elegant blue and black berry fruits.

The coolest areas of them all produce the most refined and delicate Shiraz showing fresh, red and black fruits and distinct peppery notes often found in Northern Rhone Shiraz. The black and white pepper flavours that are often associated with Shiraz is most pronounced in areas with a long, slow ripening period, and naturally the cool climates will offer these conditions, the cooler the conditions, the more pronounced they will be. Shiraz produced in the high altitudes of Clare Valley is typically aromatic with spice and Tasmania shows the distinctive cracked black pepper notes combined with elegant, red berry fruits.

The full bodied Shiraz that Australia has become famous for is undeniably unique and has its place amongst the world’s most distinctive wines, but Australia’s cool climate regions are producing Shiraz that is rapidly gaining popularity and offers a refreshing contrast to the norm.

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